Cecafa outing will be tricky for Flames –FAM

Despite Malawi now having a great chance of being considered for the Council for East and Central Africa football Associations (Cecafa) 2011 senior challenge cup following Zambia’s withdrawal,Fam says it will be tricky for the Flames to participate with only a few days to go before the showpiece rolls into life.

Zambia has been withdrawn from the competition due to the Confederation of African football(Caf) rule that prohibits teams that qualify for the African Cup of Nations from participating in another competition two months before the tournament.

This development means Malawi could be considered to take part in this year’s competition that kicks off on November 25 in Tanzania but the country’s football governing body’s general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda says they have not yet heard anything from Cecafa and that even if they did now,it will be tricky for the Flames to participate.

Nyirenda: We need time to prepare

“We have been waiting to hear from them(Cecafa) for the past  two weeks and we have been kept in the dark as to whether we have been considered or not,time is not on our side. In terms of preparations. We also needed enough time to seek government’s clearance following its ban on all foreign trips,” he said.

Nyirenda adds that in the event that Malawi is invited,the development could also greatly affect the on going Standard bank knockout trophy which ends on November 26 looking at the fact that Cecafa mainly uses locally based players.

However, Nyirenda says Fam will still wait to hear from Cecafa and see the way forward.

But Cecafa’s general secretary Nicolas Musonye told a local newspaper that he was meeting the sponsor and will be able to reveal the teams that have been invited as guests after that meeting.

Cecafa invited Nigeria and Cameroon as guests to the tournament but they turned down the offer and Cecafa had to choose two teams from four teams;South Africa,Zambia,Ivory Coast and Malawi.

After the Flames failure to qualify for the 2012 Afcon finals,coach Kinnah Phiri asked Fam to ask Cecafa if the team could be considered for the showpiece.

Before crossing over to Cosafa (Council of Southern Africa Football Associations), Malawi won the tournament three times (1978, 1979 and 1988).

Uganda are still the record champions with 11 titles followed by Kenya (five) and Ethiopia (four). Rwanda’s only triumph dates back to 1999.

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